University of Notre Dame
Jacques Maritain Center   

What is Man

[Transcribed from a typewritten manuscript with holograph corrections by Jacques Maritain. The version here represents a reconstruction of a legible early draft. It does not include some passages added later in handwriting difficult to decipher.]


Every great period of civilization is dominated by a certain peculiar idea that man fashions of man. Our behaviour depends on this image as such as on our very nature, -- an image which appears with striking brilliance in the minds of some particularly representative thinkers, and which, more or less unconscious in the human mass, is none the less strong enough to mold after its own pattern the social and political formations that are characteristic of a given epoch.

In broad outline, the image of man which reigned over Medieval Christendom depended upon St. Paul and St. Augustine. This image was to disintegrate from the time of the Renaissance and the Reforination, -- torn between an utter Christian pessimism which despaired of human nature and an utter Christian optimism which counted on human endeavour more than on divine grace. The image of man which reigned over modern times (I am thinking especially of the time which passed from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth) depended upon Descartes, John Locke, the Enlightenment and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Here we are confronted with the process of secularization of the Christian man which took place from the XVIth Century on. Let's not be deceived by the merely philosophical appearance of such a process! In reality the man of Cartesian Rationalism was a pure mind conceived after an angelistic pattern; the man of Natural Religion was a Christian gentleman who did not need grace, miracle or revelation, and was made virtuous and just by his own good nature; the man of Jean-Jacques Rousseau was, in a much more profound and significant manner, the very man of St. Paul transferred to the plane of pure nature, -- innocent as Adam before the fall, longing for a state of divine freedom and bliss, corrupted by social life and civilization as the sons of Adam by the original sin, and who was to be redeemed and set free, not by Christ, but by the essential goodness of human nature, which must be restituted by means of an Education without constraint and reveal itself in the human city of coming centuries, in that form of State in which "everyone obeying all, will nevertheless continue to obey only himself."

This process was not at all a merely rational process. It was a process of secularization of something consecrated, elevated above nature by God, called to a divine perfection and living a divine life in a fragile and wounded body, -- the man of Christianity, the man of the Incarnation. All that boiled down to bringing back this man into the realm of man himself ("anthropocentric humanism"), to keeping a Christian make-up, all the while replacing the Gospel by human Reason or human Goodness, and expecting from Human Nature what had been expected from the virtue of God giving Himself to his creature. Enormous promises, divine promises were made to man at the dawn of modern times. Science will liberate man and make him master and possessor of all nature. An automatic and necessary progress will lead him to the earthly realm of peace, to that blessed Jerusalem which our hands will build up by transforming social and political life, and which will be the Kingdom of Man, and in which we will become the supreme rulers of our own history, and whose radiance has awakened the hope and energy of the great modern revolutionaries.

If I were to try now to disentangle the ultimate results of this vast process of secularization, and to summarize the features of the idea of man and of human life thus evolved, I should describe the progressive loss, in modern ideology, of all the certitudes, coming either from metaphysical insight or from religious faith, which had given foundation and granted reality to the Image of Man in the Christian system henceforth secularized, that is to say, preserved in one way and internally ruined in another. For the historical misfortune has been the failure of philosophic Reason which, while taking charge of the old theological heritage in order to appropriate it, found itself unable even to maintain its own metaphysical pretense, its own justification of its secularized Christian man, and was obliged to decline toward a positivist denial of this very justification. Human Reason lost its grasp on Being, and became available only for the mathematical reading of sensory phenomena and for the building up of corresponding material techniques, -- a field in which any absolute reality, any absolute truth and any absolute value is of course forbidden.

Let us therefore indicate, as briefly as possible what was the modern man, the bourgeois man, the man of the XIXth Century, at least according to the image of himself most significantly fashioned by his spiritual leaders. As regards man himself, the modern man knew truths -- without the Truth; he was capable of the relative and changing truths of science, incapable and afraid of any supra-temporal truth reached by reason's metaphysical effort or of the divine Truth given by the word of God. The modern man claimed human rights and dignity -- without God, for his ideology grounded human rights and human dignity in a godlike, infinite autonomy of human will, which any rule or measurement received from another would offend and destroy. The modern man trusted in peace and fraternity -- without Christ, for he did not need a Redeemer, he was to save himself by himself alone, and his love for mankind did not need to be founded in divine charity. The modern man constantly progressed toward good and toward the possession of the earth -- without evil on earth, for he did not believe in the existence of evil, evil was only an imperfect stage in evolution, which a further stage was naturally to transcend. The modern man enjoyed human life and worshipped human life as having an infinite value, -- without a soul nor the gift of oneself, for the soul was an unscientific concept, inherited from the dreams of primitive men; and if a man does not give his soul to the one he loves, what can he give? He can give money, not himself.

As concerns civilization, the modern man had in the bourgeois state a social and political life, a common life without common good nor common works, for the aim of common life consisted only of preserving everyone's freedom to enjoy private ownership, acquire wealth and seek his own pleasure. The modern man believed in liberty -- without the mastery of self nor moral responsibility, for free will was incompatible with scientific determinism; and he believed in equality -- without justice, for justice too was a metaphysical idea, that lost any rational foundation and lacked any criterion in our modern biological and sociological outlook. The modern man placed his hope in machinism, in technique and in mechanical or industrial civilization -- without wisdom to dominate them and put them at the service of human good and freedom; for he expected freedom from the development of external techniques themselves, not from any ascetic effort towward the internal possession of self, and how can the one who does not possess the standards of human life, which are metaphysical, apply them to our use of the machine? The law of the machine, which is the law of matter, will apply itself to him.

As regards, lastly, the internal dynamism of human life, the modern man looked for happiness -- without any final end to be aimed at, nor any rational pattern to which to adhere; the most natural concept and motive-power, that of happiness, was thus warped by the loss of the concept and the sense of finality, (for finality is but one with desirability, and desirability but one with happiness); happiness became the movement itself toward happiness, a movement at once limitless and increasingly lower, more and more stagnant. And the modern man looked for democracy -- without any heroical task of justice to be performed and without brotherly love from which to get inspiration; the most significant political improvement of modern times, the concept of and the devotion to the rights of the human person and the rights of the people, was thus warped by the same loss of the concept and the sense of finality, and by the repudiation of the evangelical ferment acting in human history; democracy became an embodiment of the sovereign will of the people in the machinery of a bureaucratic state more and more irresponsible more and more asleep.

I spoke a moment ago of the immense promises which were made to man at the dawn of modern times. The great, undertaking of the secularized christian man attained splendid results for everything save man himself; as regards man himself, it went wrong, and this is not surprising.

The process of secularization of the Christian man concerns above all the idea of man and the philosophy of life whilch developed in the modern age. In the reality of human history, a process of growth occurred at the same time, great human conquests were achieved, due to the natural movement of civilization, and to the primitive impulse, the evangelical one, toward the democratic ideal. At least the civilization of the XIXth century remained Christian in its real though forgotten or disregarded principles, in the secularized remnants involved in its very idea of men and civilization, in the religious freedom, -- as thwarted as this may have been at certain moments and in certain countries, -- that it willingly or unwillingly preserved, even in the very emphasis on reason and human grandeur which its thinkers used as a weapon against Christianity, and finally in the secularized feeling which inspired, despite a wrong ideology, its great social and political improvements.

But the split had progressively increased between the real behaviour of this secularized Christian world and the moral and spiritual principles which had given it its meaning and its internal consistency, and which it came to ignore; thus this world seemed emptied of its own principles, it tended to become a universe of words, a nominalistic universe, a paste without leaven. It lived and endured by habit and by force acquired from the past, not by its own power; it was pushed forward by a vis a tergo, not by an internal dynamism. It was utilitarian, its supreme rule was utility, yet utility which is not a means toward a goal is of no use at all. It was capitalistic, and the capitalistic civilization enabled the initiatives of the individual to achieve tremendous conquests over material nature, yet, according to an observation of Warner Sombart, the man of capitalism was neither "ontologic" nor "erotic", that is to say, he had lost the sense of Being because he lived in signs and by signs, and he had lost the sense of love because he did not enjoy the life of a person dealing with other persons, all of which implies a mutual giving of oneself, but he underwent the hard labour of enrichment for the sake of enrichment.

Despite the wrong ideology I just described, and the disfigured image of man which is linked to it, our civilization bears in its very substance the sacred heritage of human and divine values which depends on the struggle of our forefathers for freedom, on judaeo-christian tradition and on classical antiquity, and which has been weakened in its efficiency, but not destroyed in its potential reserves by the ideology in question. The most alarming symptom in the present crisis is that while defending these values in a struggle to the death, we have too often lost faith and confidence in the very principles of that for which we stand, because we have too often forgotten the real and genuine principles, and at the same time feel more or less consciously the weakness of the insubstantial ideology which has preyed upon them as a parasite.


The great revolutionary movements which reacted against our secularized Christian world were to aggravate the evil, and to bring it to a peak. For they developed toward a definitive break with Christian values. Here it is less a question of doctrinal opposition to Christianity than of an existential opposition to the presence and action of Christ at the core of human history.

A first development continued and climaxed the trend of securalized reason, the "anthropocentric humanism" in the direction which it followed from its origin, in the direction of rationalistic hopes, now no longer constituted solely as philosophical ideology, but as a lived religion. This development arises from the unfolding of all the consequences of the principle that man alone, and through himself alone, works out his salvation.

The purest case of this tendency is that of Marxism. No matter how strong some of the pessimistic aspects of Marxism may be, it remains attached to this postulate. Marxist materialism remained rationalistic, so much so that for it the movement proper to matter is a dialectical movement.

If man alone and through himself alone works out his salvation, then this salvation is purely and exclusively temporal, and must be accomplished without God, and even against God, I mean against whatever in man and the human world bears the likeness of God, that is to say, from this point of view, the likeness of enslavement. This salvation demands the giving up of personality, and the organization of the collective man into me single body whose destiny is to gain supreme dominion over matter and human history. What becomes then of the image of man? Man is no longer the creature and image of God, a personality which implies free will and is responsible for an eternal destiny, a being which possesses rights and is called to the conquest of freedom and to a self achievement consisting of love and charity. He is a particle of the social whole and lives by the collective conscience of the whole, and his happiness and liberty lies in serving the work of the whole. This whole itself is an economic and industrial whole, its essential and primordial work consists of the industrial domination of nature. There is here a thirst for communion, but communion is sought in economic activity, in pure productivity, which, considered as the locus proprius and homeland of human activity, is only a world of a beheaded reason, no longer made for truth, engulfed in a demiurgic task of fabrication and domination over things. The human person is sacrificed to industry's titanism, which is the god of the industrial community.

Another development, depending upon a quite opposite trend of mind, may be described as an utter reaction against any kind of rationalism and humanism. Its roots are pessimistic, it corresponds to a process of animalisation of the image of man, in which a larvated metaphysics avails itself of every misconception of scientific or sociological data to satisfy a hidden resentment against reason and human dignity: the human species is only a branch which sprouted by chance on the genealogical tree of the monkey; all our systems of ideas and values are only an epiphenomenon of the social evolution of the primitive clan; or an ideological superstructure determined by and masking the struggle for life of class interests and imperialistic ambitions; all our seemingly rational and free behaviour is only an illusory appearance, emerging from the inferno of our subconsciousness and of instinct, all our seemingly spiritual feelings and activities, poetic creation, human pity and devotion, religious creed, contemplative love, are only the sublimation of sensuality or sexual libido. Man is unmasked, the countenance of the beast appears. The human specificity, which rationalism had caused to vanish into pure spirit, now vanished in animality.

Yet the development of which I am speaking has its real sources in something much more profound, which began to reveal itself from the second half of the last century on: anguish and despair, as exemplified in Dostoievsky's Possessed. A deeper abyss than animality appears in the unmasking of man. Having given up God so as to be self-sufficient, man has lost track of his soul. He looks in vain for himself; he turns the universe upside-down trying to find himself; he finds masks and, behind the masks, death.

Then was to be witnessed the spectacle of a tidal wave of irrationality, of hatred of intelligence, the awakening of a tragic opposition between life and spirit. To overcome despair, Nietzsche proclaimed the advent of the superman of the will to power, the death of truth, the death of God. More terrific voices, the voices of a base multitude whose baseness itself appears as an apocalyptic sign, cry out: we have had enough of lying optimism and illusory morality, enough of freedom and personal dignity and justice and peace and faithfulness and goodness which made us mad with unhappiness, let us give ground to the infinite promises of evil, and of swarming death, and of blessed enslavement, and of triumphant despair! They scatter to the four winds of the horizon the gospel of the hatred of reason, in the form of the cult of the fecundity of war or in that of the cult of race and blood.

The purest case of this tendency is Nazi Racism. It is grounded not in a fanaticism of reason hating every transcendent value, but in a mysticism of instinct and life hating reason. Intelligence for it is of use only to develop techniques of destruction and to pervert the function of language. Its demonic religiosity is more irremediable than atheism itself, for it tries to pervert the very nature of God, to make of God himself an idol; it invokes God, but as a spirit-protector attached to the glory of a people or a State, or as a demon of the race. A God who will end by being identified with an invincible force at work in the blood, is set up against the God of Sinai and against the God of Calvary, against the One whose love rules nature and human experience, against the Word who was at the beginning, against the God of whom it is said that He is Love.

Here too, man is no longer the creature and image of God, a person animated by a spiritual soul and endowed with free will, and responsible for an eternal destiny, who possesses rights and is called to the conquest of freedom and to a self achievement consisting of love and charity. And now this image of man is rooted in a warring pessimism. Man is a particle of the political whole, and lives by the Volksgeist, yet even for this collective whole there is no longer any decoy of happiness and liberty and of universal emancipation, but only power and self-realizatlon through violence. This whole itself is a biological and political whole, its essential and primordial task consists of the political domination over other men. Communion is sought in the glorification of the race and in a common hate of some enemy, in animal blood, which, separated from the spirit, is no more than a biological inferno. The human person is sacrificed to the demon of the blood, which is the God of the community of blood.

If it is true that in the dialectic of culture, communism is the final state of anthropocentric rationalism, we understand that by virtue of the universality inherent in reason, -- even in reason gone mad -- communism dreams of an all-embracing emancipation, and pretends to substitute for the universalism of Christianity its own earthly universalism; whereas racism, on its irrational and biological basis, rejects all universalism, and breaks even the natural unity of the human family, so as to impose the hegemony of a so-called higher racial essence. There is no human regeneration to be expected either from communism or from Nazi racism, yet Nazi racism is more immediately destructive. A Nazi people may be led away from Nazi paganism only by a crushing defeat of Nazism in its undertakings of world conquest; it is not inconceivable that a communist people may be led away from communist atheism by internal changes, however hard this evolution may be. If we have any hope of a spiritual transformation in the Russian people, this is due not to communism, but, on the contrary, to the deep religious and human resources inherent in them, and to the circumstance that a war in which they are displaying such splendid courage is joining their fate to the fate of the free peoples.


If the description which I outlined above is accurate, it appears that the only way of regeneration for the human community in a rediscovery of the true image of man, and a definite attempt toward a new Christian civilization, a new Christendom. Modern tines sought many good things along wrong tracks. The question now is to seek these good things along right tracks, and to save the human values and achievements aimed at by our forefathers and endangered by the false philosophy of life of the last century, and to have for that purpose the courage and audacity of proposing to ourselves the biggest task of renewal, of internal and external transformation. A coward flees backward, away from new things, The man of courage flees forward, in the midst of new things.

Christians find themselves today, in the order of temporal civilization, facing problems similar to those which their fathers had met, in the XVIth and XVIlth Centuries, in the order of natural philosophy. At that time, modern physics and astronomy in the making were but one with philosophical systems set up against Christian tradition. The defenders of the latter did not know how to make the necessary distinctions, they took a stand both against that which was to become modern science and against the philosophical errors which at the outset preyed upon this science as parasites. Three centuries were needed to get away from this misunderstanding, if it be that the world has gotten away from it. It would be disastrous to fall once again into similar errors today, in the field of the philosophy of civilization. The true substance of the nineteenth century's aspirations, as well as the human gains it achieved, must be saved, both from its own errors and from the agression of, totalitarian barbarism, a new world of genuine humanism and genuine Christian inspiration must be built.

In the eyes of the observer of historical evolution, a new Christian civilization in going to be quite different from medieval civilization, though in both cases Christianity is at the root. For the historical climate of the Middle Ages and that of modern times are utterly diverse. I tried elsewhere to analyze this diversity and to picture an eventual new Christendom. Here let me say briefly that medieval civilization, whose historical ideal was the holy empires constituted a "sacral" Christian civilization, in which temporal things, philosophical and scientific reason, and the state, were subservient organs or instruments of spiritual things, of religious faiths and of the Church. In the course of the following centuries, temporal things, philosophical and scientific reason, and the state, gained a position of autonomy, all of which was in itself a normal process, the misfortune has been that this normal process, instead of being a process of distinction for a better form of union, was a process of separation and secularization and progressively severed earthly civilization from evangelical inspiration. A new age of Christendom, if it is to come, will be an age of reconciliation of that which was disjoined, the age of a "profane" Christian civilization, in which temporal things, philosophical and scientific reason, and the state, will enjoy their autonomy and at the same time recognize the quickening and inspiring role that spiritual things, religious faith, and the Church, play from their higher plane. Then a Christian philosophy of life would guide a vitally, not decoratively Christian city, a city of human rights and of the dignity of the human person, in which men belonging to diverse racial stocks and to diverse religious creeds would commune in a temporal common good and common work truly human and progressive.

In the last analysis, I would say that from the end of the Middle Ages -- a moment at which the human creature, while awakening to itself, felt itself oppressed and crushed in its loneliness -- modern times have longed for a rehabilitation of the human creature. They sought the rehabilitation in a separation from God. It was to be sought in God. The human creature claims the right to be loved. It can be really efficaciously loved only in God. It must be respected in its very connection with God and because it receives everything -- and its very dignity -- from Him. After the great disillusionment of "anthropocentric" humanism, and the atrocious experience of the anti-humanism of our day, what the world needs is a new humanism, a "theocentric" or integral humanism, which would consider man in all his natural grandeur and weakness in the entirety of his wounded being inhabited by God, in the full reality of nature, sin and sanctity. Such a humanism would recognize all that is irrational in man, in order to tame it to reason, and all that is supra-rational, in order to have reason vivified by it, and to open man to the descent of the divine into him. Its main work would be to cause the gospel leaven and inspiration to penetrate the secular structures of life, -- a work of sanctification of the profane and temporal.

This "humanism of the Incarnation" would care for the masses, for their right to a temporal condition worthy of man and to a spiritual life, and for the movement which carries labour toward the social responsibility of its coming of age. It would tend to substitute for bourgeois civilization, and for an economic system based on the fecundity of money, not a collectivistic economy, but a "personalistic" democracy. This task in joined to today's tremendous effort for victory over the armies of the Pagan Empire, and to a future work of reconstruction which will require no less vigor. It is also joined to a thorough awakening of the religious conscience. One of the worst diseases of the modern world, as I pointed out in an earlier essay [Scholasticism and Politics, (Chapter I, p. 22), New York, Macmillan, 1940], is its dualism, the dissociation between the things of God and the things of the world. The latter, the things of the social, economic and political life, have been abandoned to their own carnal law, removed from the exigencies of the Gospel. The result is that they have become more and more unlivable; at the same time, Christian ethics, not really carried out in the social life of people, became in this connection, I do not mean in itself or in the Church, I mean in the world, in the general cultural behavioura, a universe of formulas and words; and this universe of formulas and words was in effect vassalized, in practical cultural behaviour, by the real energies of this same temporal world existentially detached from Christ. Such a disorder can be cured only by a renewal of the profoundest energies of the religious conscience, arising out of temporal existence.

In addition, modern civilization, which pays dearly to-day for the past, seems as if it were pushed, by the self-contradictions and fatalities suffered by it, toward contrasting forms of misery and intensified materialism. To rise above these fatalities we need an awakening of liberty and of its creative forces, of which man does not became capable by the grace of the State or any Party pedagogy, but by a love which fixes the centre of his life infinitely above the world and temporal history. In particular, the general paganization of our civilization has resulted in man's placing his hope in force alone and in the efficacy of hate, whereas in the eyes of an integral humanism, a political ideal of justice and civic friendship, requiring political strength and technical equipment, but inspired by love, is alone able to direct the work of authentic social regeneration. And this also shows how everything here depends on a profound renewal of the interior energies of conscience.

The image of man involved in integral humanism is that of a being made of matter and spirit, whose body may have emerged from the historical evolution of animal forms, but whose immortal soul directly proceeds from divine creation. He is made for truth, capable of knowing God as the Cause of Being, by his reason, and of knowing Him in His intimate life, by the gift of faith. Man's dignity is that of an image of God, his rights derive as well as his duties from natural law, whose requirements express in the creature the eternal plan of creative Wisdom. Wounded by sin and death from the first sin of his race, whose burden weighs upon all of us, he is caused by Christ to become of the race and lineage of God, living by divine life, and called upon to enter by suffering and love into Christ's very work of redemption. Called upon by his nature, on the other hand, to unfold historically his internal potentialities by achieving little by little reason's domination over his own animality and the material universe, his progress on earth is not automatic nor merely natural, but accomplished in step with freedom and together with the inner help of God, and constantly thwarted by the power of evil, which is the very power of created spirits to inject nothingness into being, and which unceasingly degrades human history, while unceasingly, and with greater force, the creative energies of reason and love revitalize and raise up this same history. Our natural love for God and for the human being is fragile; charity alone, received from God as a participation in His own life, makes man efficaciously love God above everything, and each human person in God; thus brotherly love brings to earth, through the art of man, the fire of eternal life, which in the true peace-maker, and it must vitalize from within that natural virtue of friendship, disregarded by so many fools, which is the very soul of social communities. Man's blood is at once of infinite value and must be shed all along mankind's roads "to redeem the blood of man". On the one hand nothing in the world is more precious than one single human person, on the other hand nothing in the world is more squandered, more exposed to all kinds of dangers than the human being -- and this condition is normal. The meaning of that paradox is that man knows very well that death is not an end, but a beginning. If I think of the perishable life of man, it is someting naturally sacred, yet man can be required to sacrifice it by devotion to his neighbour or by his duty to his country; moreover a single word is more precious than human life if in uttering this word a man braves a tyrant for the sake of truth or liberty. If I think of the imperishable life of man, of that life which makes him "a god by participation" and, beginning here below, will consist in seeing God face to face, nothing in the world is more precious than human life. Every self-sacrifice, every gift of oneself involves, be it in the smallest way, a dying for the one we love. The man who knows that "after all, death is only an episode", is ready to give himself with humility, and nothing is more human and more divine than the gift of oneself, for "it is more blissful to give than to receive."

As concerns civilization, the man of Christian humanism knows that political life aims at a common good which is superior to a mere collection of the individual goods and yet must flow back upon human persons; he knows that the common work must tend above all toward the improvement of human life itself, enabling everyone to exist on earth as a free man and to enjoy the fruits of culture and spirit; he knows that the authority of those who are in charge of the common good, and who are in a community of free men, designated by the people, originates in the Author of Nature and is therefore binding, in conscience, and is binding in conscience on condition that it be just. The man of Christian humanism cherishes freedom as something he must be worthy of, he realizes his essential equality with other men in terms of respect and fellowship, and sees in justice the force of preservation of the political community, and the prerequisite which, "bringing unequals to equality", enables civic friendship to spring forth. He is aware, both of the tremendous ordeal which the advent of machinism imposes on human history, and of the marvellous power of liberation it offers to man, if the brute instinct of domination does not avail itself of the techniques of machinism, and of science itself, in order to enslave mankind, and if reason and wisdom are strong enough to turn them to the service of truly human aims and apply to then the standards of human life. The man of Christian humanism does not look for an industrial civilization, but for a civilization integrally human, and of evangelical inspiration.

As regards, finally, the internal dynamism of human life, the man of Christian humanism has an ultimate end, God to be seen and possessed, -- and he tends toward self-perfection, which is the chief element of that imperfect happiness which is accessible to him in earthly existence. Thus life has meaning and a direction for him, and he to able to grow up on the way, without turning and wavering and without remaining spiritually a child. This perfection toward which he tends is not perfection of some stoicist athleticism wherein a man would make himself impeccable, but rather the perfection of love, of love toward Another whom he loves more than himself, and whom he craves above all ever more to join and love, even though in the process he carries with him imperfections and weaknesses. In such an evangelical perfection lies perfect freedom, which is to be conquered by ascetic effort but which is finally given by the very one who is loved, and who was the first to love us.

But this vertical movement toward divine union and self-perfection is not the only movement involved in human life's internal dynamism. The second one, the horizontal movement, concerns the evolution of mankind and progressively reveals the substance and creative forces of man in history. The man of Christian humanism is aware that these two movements must be pursued together: the horizontal movement of civilization, when directed toward its authentic temporal aims, helps the vertical movement of souls; and without the movement of souls toward their eternal aim, the movement of civilization would lose the charge of spiritual energy, human pressure and creative radiance which animates it toward its temporal accomplishment. And in the final end the two movements in question will end up indeed in the supra-temporal reality and the same transfiguration, for the supreme accomplishment of human history will be given it when history will have passed away, and man will have entered eternity. For the man of Christian humanism history has a meaning and a direction. The progressive integration of humanity is also a progressive emancipation from human servitude and misery as well as from the constraints of material nature. The supreme ideal which the political and social work in mankind has to aim at is thus the instauration of a brotherly city -- which does not imply the hope that all men will some day be perfect on earth and love each other fraternally, but the hope that the existential state of human life and the structures of civilization will draw nearer to their perfection, the standard of which is justice and friendship, -- and what aim, if not perfection, is to be aimed at? This supreme ideal is the very one of a genuine democracy, of the new democracy we are expecting. It required not only the development of powerful technical equipment and of a firm and rational politico-social organization in human communities, but also a heroical philosophy of life, and the quickening inner ferment of evangelical inspiration. It is in order to advance toward such an ideal that ths city must be strong. The instauration of a common life which responds to the truth of our nature, freedom to be conquered and friendship to be set up at the core of civilization vitalized by virtues higher than civil virtues, all these define the historical ideal for which man can be asked to work, fight and die. Against the "myth of the XXth Century" such as the Nazis conceive it, against the millenium of brutal domination that the prophets of germanic racism promise their people, it is a vaster and greater hope which must rise up, a bolder promise which must be made to the human race. The truth of God's image, as it is naturally impressed upon us, freedom, and fraternity are not dead. If our civilization struggles with death, the reason is not that it dares too much, and that it proposes to men. It is because it does not dare enough, nor propose enough to them. It will revive, a new civilization will come to life, on condition that it hope, and will, and love truly and heroically truth, freedom and fraternity.